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BizReport : Email Marketing : February 21, 2007

Fake heart attack headline leads to real phishing attack

No, the Australian Prime Minister hasn’t suffered a heart attack, but your computer could be under attack, if you fell for the most recent phishing scam.

by Helen Leggatt

Thousands of computers have been infected with a Trojan after receiving and reacting to an email distributed throughout Europe, Australia and the U.S. It highlights a trend towards scammers using fake newspaper headlines to lure recipients to click through to phishing websites. Titled "John Howard, the current Prime Minister of Australia has survived a heart attack", the e-mail claims Howard suffered a heart attack and is fighting for his life in hospital.

This particular Trojan gives the attacker remote access to the infected machine by installing a webserver on to the victim’s computer. This enables the tracking and keystroke logging of every online activity, providing the attacker with banking information, amongst other things. They are also able to locate the exact position of the user’s computer on Google Maps using IP addresses.

The Trojan is triggered by users clicking on a link purporting to go to The Australian for further reading. It is estimated that, at the time of writing, around 2,500 machines are infected with related phishing attacks putting customers of certain banks at risk, including Bank of America and Deutsche Bank (Germany).

A full list of affected banks can be viewed at the Websense Securitylabs website.

Tags: phishing, scams, trojan

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  • There is also a scam on the net claiming to be from Steve Irwins wife Terri....pretty transparent though, it claims she is dying of cancer....usual Nigerian rubbish.



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